PM1 has arrived

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by twmangrove, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. twmangrove

    twmangrove Mu-43 Regular

    110
    May 8, 2011
    The Shuswap, B.C.
    Precursor:
    I'm not one for camera reviews as they obligate you to post images and frankly, my images are either for my employer or they're snaps around the home that I'm not so keen to share (more often than not they're of my son, or tonight, my only available test subject being myself).
    That said,
    I received my PM1 today and my first thought was, wow, that's really well built. I was expecting a half metal, half plasticy sort of think like my PL1 was. Not so. I have the silver version and it reminds me of my co-workers old Panny TZ1, a solid hunk of silver metal that small but packs a lot within.
    And then the size thing hit. Those are some small buttons. And not a lot of real estate for a grip. No surprises there, but it's different when you're looking at something online compared to actually having it in hand.
    With the size of the body, I was rather taken aback by how far the lens protrudes when open. That is almost rude.
    Overall, it looks very nice though and I can't wait to spruce it up with a leatherette skin (please, someone make one soon), and an ACMAXX screen protector, already on order.
    As for the grip, I think I'll get used to it.
    Initial photos look fantastic. The WB is wonderful - certainly WAY better than the high end P&S I recently tried and decided wasn't for me.
    The AF doesn't strike me as lightning fast, as advertised (using kit R lens) but I haven't exactly been using it in the best of lighting conditions. It's still fairly peppy, and I look forward to trying it out more tomorrow.
    I took a couple of AVHCD normal videos and have just learned that iPhoto doesn't like to open them. I'll have to look into that and see what can be done about that.
    The menu system is simple enough to figure out and, coming from the PL1, not much different.
    Very impressed by this little camera so far. Look forward to spending some more time with it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. DDBazooka

    DDBazooka Mu-43 Veteran

    211
    Sep 3, 2011
    You'll get use to the size of the buttons. When I first got mine, I was about to go back to my E-PL2 just because I didn't like the control ergonomics but a week later and it's second nature to me.

    I'm not a fan of how the lens mount protrudes out though, it makes every lens seem larger than they actually are.
     
  3. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Congratulations on your purchase. Ditto on the feedback about the controls. Now... do you have any other micro four-thirds lenses? If not, I recommend that you check out two non-zoom primes: Oly's own 17mm f/2.8 and Panasonic's 14mm f/2.5. I have the Panny and the E-PM1 is no larger than my LX3 when I use that lens.
     
  4. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 12, 2011
    I have tried out a PM1 for a time and returned it because of the (for my eyes) too small letters and symbols on the screen. Otherwise its a very fine camera.
    One note, noise reduction is quite agressive and only by changing from the default "Standard" did I gain the fine details in pics I long for.
    Noise is overrated anyway:biggrin:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    For the little lenses like Oly 17 and Pana 14, I think the protruding mount improves handling. I'd still prefer it weren't protruding if the body thickness could be left the same (more pocketable overall). However, I prefer the present arrangement to having the whole body thicker without the protrusion (which would make the lens look smaller but worse handling and no better pocketability.
     
  6. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Congrats on the new camera!
     
  7. twmangrove

    twmangrove Mu-43 Regular

    110
    May 8, 2011
    The Shuswap, B.C.
    Thanks for all the support. With regard to the lens mount, it's not something I've put much thought to. To me the camera is small enough. I really liked the PL2 in terms of ergonomics. I thought it was just right, as I'm not opposed to some heft. That said, I still get a sense that the PM1 might be built a little more solidly. Maybe it's because of the metal.
    Getting used to the buttons won't be an issue though. For me anyways. No doubt those with large hands may want to get a P3, or maybe just stick with a DSLR:)
    The noise thing - I immediately dropped it to low, as I had it on my PL1. Although, with the PM1 the images seem to look better.
    As for lenses, I'm still on the fence. I had both the 17 and the Panny 14 and really liked them both. As it turned out, I loved the 34mm of the 17, but preferred the Panny's sharpness and speed. Actually, I found the Panny, though faster, would sometimes have more problems finding focus. What I really want, Olympus, is a 17mm F2 (or wider) MSC lens. If your plummeting stocks and potential investigation don't prevent you from investing in more R&D, can you please make one?
    Now, two points I neglected to mention:
    The sounds the PM1 makes are certainly different (to the PL1). When you turn it makes what sounds like a shutter noise, like it's taking a picture. Only, taking a picture seems to make a different noise. It's not a quick, clean SNAP. It's more of a not so quick, KER-KLUNK. A little odd, and not very graceful. I do hope the quality of this camera's innards are on par with the outside.
    The second point relates to video. I was able to get my two AVCHD files open with VL player, and noted a red dot in both. It looked like it could be a pixel, but perhaps more of a small cluster of them, in the lower, mid-left part of the image. Also a bit odd, and hopefully not a pixel issue. These two vids, I should note, were taken indoors in quite poor lighting. I'll try out other vid sizes/formats and see what I get. Because the red dot does not appear in photos (no, it's not THOSE red dots), I'm really not that concerned about it, but I wouldn't mind dealing with it soon if it's something that needs dealing with.
    By the way, you people are lovely to work with. I've yet to see an uncivlized forum thread on this site.
     
  8. e_kjellgren

    e_kjellgren Mu-43 Regular

    173
    Oct 17, 2011
    Sweden
    I thought it was plastic?

     
  9. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    729
    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    It has to be, the rear of the lens has to be a certain distance from the sensor to achieve correct focus etc which is why the protrusion is there. This is as thin as m4/3 can be.

    Paul
     
  10. twmangrove

    twmangrove Mu-43 Regular

    110
    May 8, 2011
    The Shuswap, B.C.
    As far as I can tell, the silver one is all metal - cold to the touch on front and back with no visual difference in material.
     
  11. twmangrove

    twmangrove Mu-43 Regular

    110
    May 8, 2011
    The Shuswap, B.C.
    Had some more play time today with the PM1. Have some more thoughts to share.
    ISO. For starters, coming from the EPL1, the higher ISO images seem better with this camera. I'm really impressed up to 1600. I was just shooting between 800 and 1000 it's really good.
    I-Enhance. I don't know if changes have been made here, but I'm really liking this now (I think I might have contrast down one notch though - will have to check).
    Now, for the most mind-boggling part: WB. It's cloudy out right now, light not so great, and the WB is SUPERB. With the PL1 I'd always have a heck of a time getting greens just right. Always, they seemed to be too warm. Not anymore. This, I suppose, is due to being able to adjust the camera to remove that warm cast.
    I am completely thrilled with the result. Greens, fleshtone even pinks on what flora remains is spot on.
    This was a good investment.
    For the first time ever, I feel confident in saying I'm ready to retire my Fuji F31fd.
     
  12. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Yup. I've been saying similar things about the E-PM1. No camera is perfect, but I really think this one pretty much makes most compacts - even premium compacts - obsolete. DSLR-class performance and results in a Panasonic LX-series body.
     
  13. M4/3

    M4/3 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    713
    Sep 24, 2011
    What about the Menu system? Your E-PL1 had many large buttons and dials. And now you have just a few and they are miniscule in size. I looked at a E-PM1 at the local Best Buy yesturday and was not thrilled with the ultra small size of the camera, lack of grip and the necessity to plow through a complex menu system to change any setting. But then again I suppose using the menu would become second nature after several weeks.
     
  14. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    I don't find the PM1 requires any more -- or less -- digging through the menus for settings you're likely to use. The big trouble is if you want the zoom in/grid-out buttons that the PL has. I find that I change the customization of the record button on my PM1 based on what I'm doing, but other than that it makes no difference.
     
  15. Biro

    Biro Mu-43 All-Pro

    May 8, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Agreed. I found that, within seconds of picking up the E-PM1 for the first time, I had located PASM in the menu and was able to adjust things like aperture and exposure compensation very quickly. This may be a personal thing, but I find the lack of external controls to be a non-issue on this camera.
     
  16. PrimeTime

    PrimeTime Mu-43 Rookie

    20
    Jul 2, 2011
    * I've had limited time with my brothers EPM1 but it reminds me of my past XZ-1 interface. Pretty simple after 5 min of setup. I never have to go into the main menu unless I change one of the PASM settings. You can change almost every setting through the quick menu.


    Imho: The E-PM1 menu is pretty easy to navigate. After you unlock or make visible more in depth camera control options its pretty quick. I changed a few main settings for him on the control wheel/pad to iso & wb. Also the rec button to magnification to help with MF lenses.

    Should only take a battery or two worth of clicks for anyone to adapt to the Pen mini. Each platform has its pros and cons, as long as you read the manual and learn your camera you will be GTG :)

    fwiw: one reason he chose the mini is for the pros of not having extra dials to adjust/move once set. Minimalistic = Win.
     
  17. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Tom
    I'll second what others are saying--it's really not difficult. In fact, as a former E-PL1 user, I found the button layout and size just about perfect, and easier to navigate than the abundance of buttons on the E-P3, which I had for a week. In fact, compared to the E-PL1, the control wheel is a welcome upgrade in control.

    I did find that I needed to add an aftermarket grip to really make the E-PM1 work for me. Before that it took all my fingers to simply hold on to the darn thing, with none of them really free to push any buttons. Now that I have my grip it's 100% better--and I'm finding I actually like the feel of it better than my E-PL1.